On Monday 13th November 2023, Beauchief Abbey Lodge 3793 hosted its 6th Annual Remembrance Lodge Meeting where family, friends, non-masons, and masons were invited to attend the splendid setting of Dore Freemasons’ Hall. This unique event in the Lodge calendar remembers and commemorates with dignity and pride all those who have gone before, especially those who have given their all, in past conflicts that allow us the freedoms we all enjoy today.
On this occasion, sixty-five people attended including W Bro. Martyn Bailey Deputy Provincial Grand Master, past members of United Grand Lodge of England, current members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Derbyshire, and two standard bearers, from the Staveley & District branch, and the Chesterfield branch of the Royal British Legion, accompanied by two buglers from the Yorkshire Volunteers Band.
The Lodge was Called Off to allow family, friends, and non-masons into the Lodge Room to view the proceedings.
The first item was the presentation of a Charity Salver by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master in recognition of Beauchief Abbey Lodge having reached its £16,000 target in support of the 2025 Derbyshire Festival. Derbyshire Province is well on its way to reach its £1.5m target by 2025.
The next item was a very solemn, moving, and thought-provoking presentation on the theme of Remembrance by Mr John Wallace, Derbyshire Parade Marshall, and Standard Bearer from the Royal British Legion. It was warmly received and appreciated by all those present.
There followed the moving Ceremony of the Vacant Chair, delivered with due reverence and solemnity by the Worshipful Master of Beauchief Abbey Lodge and his officers, accompanied by the standard bearers, buglers, and Lodge Almoner, Bro. Jim Arthur.
This ceremony dates back to 1875, a decade after the close of the American Civil War when it was used in lodges in America to pay tribute to those who did not return from the war. Having gained providence in England, it has started to be used by many lodges around Remembrance Day to pay homage to those brother Masons who fell during WWI, WWII and other wars.
The raffle at the following dinner raised £300 in support of the excellent work of The Royal British Legion.
Eight children joined us on this occasion, both in the Lodge Room and also at the following dinner, during which, (courtesy of the Lodge Almoner), each one of them received a money box, together with eleven coins dating from the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and a small card which read:
“We hope you have enjoyed yourself this evening at Dore Freemasons’ Hall, and many thanks for taking the time to remember all those who, by their actions, enabled us the freedom to meet up in this way.
Please accept with thanks this King Charles III money box together with 11 coins, all dated during the period of WW1 & WW2. Some of them are over 100 years old.
Please count each one as you put it into the money box and give a little thought to the history behind the date on each coin. Having deposited the eleventh coin, please remember, that one represents the end of World War One: when at 11am on the 11th Day of the 11th Month, the day the guns fell silent.
We sincerely hope that the respect you have shown by being with us this evening, will stay with you always”